It cannot be said enough that a historical marker on Western Kentucky University’s campus simply denoting the historical fact that Bowling Green was the Confederate capital of Kentucky should’ve never been removed from where it stood for decades.
This marker, which was located on College Heights Boulevard, was removed once and put back up only after this newspaper exposed its disappearance and caught some WKU and the Kentucky Historical Society officials not being totally truthful to us and the taxpayers of our community about where the marker was located and when it was going to be put back up.
Had we not exposed the sleight of hand from some on the Hill and the KHS, the marker would’ve likely been left where it was being stored never to be seen again.
We’re glad we called them on it, and the marker went back up where it belonged. We thought that was the end of it, but WKU President Timothy Caboni in August made a request to the KHS that the marker be moved because it made some on campus feel “uncomfortable.”
Caboni obviously caved to political correctness and calls from revisionist historians on campus. That is very unfortunate as we believe him to be a very intelligent man who must deep down know that this historical marker is simply denoting a historical fact, shouldn’t be offensive and does nothing to glorify the Confederacy.
Enter once again the KHS, which removed the sign in August and had it stored in a Kentucky Department of Transportation building with the possible intent of it sitting there not to be put back up again.
We ran a story last week updating the public about the marker’s future, and our findings were disappointing as it appears the KHS has done little if anything to find a new location for this historical marker.
KHS Executive Director Scott Alvey informed Caboni on Aug. 19 that the marker had been removed and placed in the highway department’s building. He went on to say in that email that the KHS was looking for a suitable place for it.
Reached last week by phone, Alvey said the KHS was still working on finding a new location that would have buy-in from the community. “We’re still working on it. Most of the research is done, and we’re still trying to evaluate some sites,” he said.
He did not specify a particular time frame for when the process would be complete.
“It’s just going to take us a while,” he said, adding that it typically takes about six months to install a new historical marker.
Alvey seems to be in no hurry to get this historical marker put back up. He has had two months to find a place in our city where this sign could be placed, and he still hasn’t done so because it’s not a priority for him. We believe it is a marker that he would really prefer stay in storage even though it’s not controversial, which is very sad.
Alvey said last week the new location would require community support but said he has made no effort to contact anyone with the city or county about a potential place to reinstall the marker.
It is quite clear after two months of “research” that Alvey is dragging his feet on this with the hopes that the marker discussion will just go away.
This newspaper is not going to let it go away. In an effort to inform the public, we will continue to ask questions and write stories and editorials until this marker is reinstalled without any continued stalling tactics.
If you need ideas about where to put this marker, an obvious place would be downtown Bowling Green. Fountain Square or the courthouse would be places to put it in historical context as this area was the center of activity during the Civil War. Why not talk to city and county leaders as you’ve had two months to do so about placing it there?
This really is a no-brainer to us, and we believe most of our readers agree.
Our message to the KHS is this: Enough with the stalling tactics. You’ve had two months to find a place for this historical marker that deserves to be reinstalled so generations to come can learn about our town’s history during the Civil War. Isn’t the KHS’ mission to spotlight our state’s rich history?
Please quit the stalling tactics, reach out to city and county leaders and get this piece of our city’s history resinstalled at a historical location without delay.